I love some poetry. I enjoy writing poetry from time to time as well, though I don’t practice that as much as I did in high school and early college.

Part of me thinks that its easier to remember to play in metered poetry because the rules are more strict in some ways while more loose in other ways. Especially important is the lack of expectation for clear story and understandable exposition. In a sense, poetry assumes a higher level of reader, at least traditionally. In addition, the cadence and shape of the words is as important as the meaning of those words.

Poetry is like music, is like raw unfiltered sound, only these days recorded on a page in the form of words.

I like to write poetry that relates to my stories. I chickened out of making my last novel’s protagonist a true poet. Perhaps when I edit that book I will put in more poetry. I think that would be nice, maybe in the form of chapter-starting epigraphs.

For all its glorious freedom, and relatively simple rules, prose only takes me so far when it comes to freeing my mind of its simplistic urge to cover itself. Such freedom, when supplied by poetry’s formal restrictions, has provided me with images and scenes I had not previously imagined.

Perhaps I need more rules in my prose to make the process more fun and add more style to go with the growing substance of my work. A silly example would be to write a paragraph or two without the letter ‘e’. That exercise has limited uses, but its a good instance of what I mean. To include more assonance, or alliteration, or possibly rhyme in the prose could be the kind of fun I need to engage the auditory portion of my mind that does not appreciate workmanlike prose so much.

If only as an exercise, I could mix in other poetic elements. More thematic portions. Perhaps that will prove entertaining and help to hold my interest. Characterization could be helped by the correct subtle modifications to the words themselves. I could define voices more thoroughly. I could… I could… I will give this a try.

I listen to music while I write. I’ve done it this way since near the beginning, but why? I don’t know for certain. Perhaps the sound distraction is why I do.

I’ve got a lot to do these days. But there has to be room to play too.


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